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Unico buys Seattle tower for $236M; Amazon unit buys site in Herndon, Va.

Commercial real estate

* Unico Properties LLC said it bought the 365,674-square-foot, 25-story Westlake Tower in Seattle's central business district for an undisclosed price as part of a core-plus investment fund. The 95%-leased property forms the office portion of Westlake Center.

The Seattle Times reported that the property was acquired for $236 million from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. The tower previously sold for $119.4 million in 2011.

* Amazon.com Inc.'s data center unit Amazon Data Services Inc., also known as Vadata, acquired a 57-acre, 2.4 million-square-foot site in Herndon, Va., for $54 million, the Washington Business Journal reported, citing public land records. The asset was sold by Perspecta Enterprise Solutions LLC, an affiliate of Perspecta Inc.

The site includes office buildings totaling almost 470,000 square feet, a parking garage and additional land. Sources had previously told the publication that Amazon plans to use the property to expand its data center portfolio in Northern Virginia.

* A joint venture between Bridge Development Partners and BentallGreenOak paid $126 million for a portion of about 50 acres at the Ave Aviation & Commerce Center in Opa-locka, Fla., the South Florida Business Journal reported. The business park's land is leased from Miami-Dade County, and the lease assignment was sold by a company led by Ernesto Cambo of CPF Investment Group, according to the report.

The sold portion includes a 478,000-square-foot distribution facility for USPS, a car sales loft for Off Lease Only and three industrial buildings spanning 470,000 square feet. The sold property also has 1 million square feet of industrial- and aviation-related development rights, the report added, citing Ernesto Casal of Casal Group, who represented the seller.

* The Wall Street Journal reported that CBRE Group Inc. is facing scrutiny in New Jersey over its work to secure $2.4 million in tax credits for a client in 2015. The scrutiny is part of an investigation into the state's tax-incentive programs by a task force appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Susan Harte, then director of CBRE's location-incentives group, who no longer worked at the company as of Oct. 16, had withheld information from state economic-development officials to make Rainforest Distribution Corp.'s tax-credit application more compelling, according to the report. A CBRE spokeswoman said the activities described in the transactions were not consistent with the company's ethics and standard business practices, the publication noted.

* The San Jose Police & Fire Department Retirement Plan is looking to pull out all its capital, worth $227 million, from American Realty Advisors' American Core Realty Fund while the San Jose Federated City Employees Retirement System plans to pull out its $57 million investment in PGIM Real Estate's PRISA, IPE Real Assets reported.

The police and fire fund is investing $200 million in the BlackRock US Core Property Fund, and the federated city employees fund is investing $140 million in Clarion Lion Properties Fund. An investment officer for the City of San Jose, Calif., declined to comment on the reasons behind the reshuffling, according to the report.

Housing

* National home sales increased 8.1% year over year in September, marking the biggest year-over-year rise since November 2016, according to RE/MAX. Inventory saw the biggest year over year decline in more than a year at 6.1%.

The median sale price for the month was $254,500, up 4.5% year over year. The average median price increase for the first nine months of the year was 4.9%.

* U.S. home foreclosures during the third quarter totaled 143,105 properties, marking a decline of almost 172,000 properties from the year-ago period, The Real Deal reported, citing Attom Data Solutions. The number of foreclosures, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions, was at the lowest point since the second quarter of 2005.

* Third-quarter residential sales in Miami Beach, Fla., and the barrier islands increased 5.2% year over year, with condo sales increasing 7.3% year over year during the period, The Real Deal reported, citing Elliman Reports. The median condo price was up 4.2% year over year to roughly $349,000, and the median home sale price fell 1.4% year over year to $1.4 million.

Other real estate news

* Marriott International Inc. agreed to acquire Elegant Hotels Group PLC for £1.10 per Elegant share, valuing the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of the Barbados-based hotelier at roughly £100.8 million.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.48% to 26,719.58, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.18% to 22,492.68.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.02% to 7,184.10, while the Euronext 100 was down 0.24% to 1,093.13.

On the macro front

The leading indicators report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Data Dispatch: US REIT capital offering activity soars in September; hottest month year-to-date: Chart Watch: U.S. equity REITs raised $17.88 billion through capital offerings in September, marking a 12-month peak for the sector.

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